By Oliver Hall
Record numbers of Brits who are choosing to spend their holiday in the UK could be putting lives at risk with heavily-laden vehicles and underinflated tyres, according to a leading tyre manufacturer.
Cooper tyres warns vehicle owners that the average family car loaded up for a holiday trip will have to transport an additional 201kg in passengers and luggage, compared to the typical ‘driver-only’ car journey.
However, many motorists not realise they need to set their tyre pressures to compensate for the additional load being placed on the tyres, in order to reduce the risk of accidents and premature tyre wear.
Car manufacturers specify the tyre pressures needed for heavily-laden vehicles. To find the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure, check the tyre information placard label or handbook for your specific vehicle.
Cooper tyres warns that as many as 95 percent of motorists are already driving with tyres that are below the standard required pressure, which can result in tyre failure, increased braking distances, unpredictable handling and add to fuel bills.
With overseas travel down by over 15 percent in 2009, it is anticipated that more holiday makers than ever will utilise the nation’s highways this summer.
Julian Baldwin, managing director of Cooper Tyre Europe, explained: “Apart from the potential danger to the occupants of the car, driving with underinflated tyres can land you with a fine and points on your licence.
“In addition to tyre failures resulting from underinflation, braking distances can also be greatly affected by underinflated tyres and even more so when combined with a car full to capacity with all the family and their luggage on board.”
The tyre manufacturer urges motorists to check tyre pressures at least monthly and before long trips, and to refer to the vehicle manufacturer’s handbook for the correct pressure when travelling fully laden.